Student Spotlight: Mashall Hameed at the McGill University Archives

Student employment in the McGill Library benefits the entire McGill community. At 100+ strong this academic year, McGill Library student workers gain valuable work experience while engaging in academic pursuits.  Student navigators, curatorial interns, special project assistants and student researchers bring an immeasurable amount to the life and culture of the Library. Over the next few weeks, Library Matters will share testimonials from library student workers, many of whom come to us through programs like McGill’s Work Study Program and are supported by students societies and associations like the SSMU Library Improvement Fund (LIF), the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), the McGill Music Undergraduate Student Association (MUSA) and Post Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS). Thank you to all our student workers – your hard work and dedication mean the world to the Library and McGill!

Mashall Hameed standing in front of a bookshelf.

Mashall Hameed is a 1st year Political Science student and works in the McGill University Archives.

Library Matters (LM): What made you want to apply to work for the library?

Mashall Hameed (MH): I applied for a job at the library since the location is convenient, and the library would allow me to access numerous resources to help me in my academic life. 

LM: What kind of work have you been doing? Has it been virtual / onsite / hybrid?

MH: I work onsite in the library’s archive unit in McLennan and Currie Gymnasium on a project to label and barcode the archive boxes to ensure an easy transition for the upcoming move. 

LM: What do you like about working at the Library?

MH: I enjoy the peaceful environment of the library. Everyone I have met is kind and patient, and they are very accommodating with each student’s schedule.

LM: What surprised you the most about working at the Library?

MH: One thing that surprised me the most in the library was the basement. The basement was drastically different than the rest of the building. I once told my manager how scary the basement could be, but he assured me I wouldn’t even find a spider. He was right. 

LM: Any “Aha!” moments or takeaways from the experience?

MH: An “Aha!” moment for me from the job would be all boxes. Due to confidential reasons, we aren’t allowed to investigate the boxes, but the label on the boxes is fascinating. I find boxes labelled from all faculties with degrees, student projects, research, etc. It feels like the archives kept everything. 

LM: Coolest, oddest, most interesting things you have come across/experienced?

MH: The most exciting thing I have come across was when my manager showed me the first-ever drafts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by John Humphrey, who was a law professor at McGill. I found it to be very intriguing since the UDHR was a constant document I learned and referred to in several of my classes. 

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